Trump’s Right Wing Media Enablers Ignore Hasson and the Growing White Nationalism Crisis

“Hasson is a 49 year-old white man, therefore he was probably “economically insecure,” intimidated by globalization and unsure how to approach women in the aftermath of the #MeToo movement. The world has browned before his very eyes. If only Democrats could figure out a better narrative, a more approachable way to speak to voters like Hasson, well then maybe we could all live more peacefully.

It’s not an important story. Hasson was stopped before he hurt anyone, right? It would be journalistic malpractice if the case were used to foster a real public discussion about systemic racism, the proliferation of easy weapons within our borders and the violence-inciting rhetoric vomited up by the President of the United States on the hour. Make it go away and focus on the GAY BLACK MAN guilty of fraud and manipulation. An easy target made that much richer by his own shameful behavior.

Time has found a weird way of speeding up in the Trump era. The calumny and disgrace comes at us in chunks of corrosion so quickly and damaging to our country and culture, we can hardly keep up. A week of rapid-fire scandal feels like a lifetime. And in short order, we’ll forget about Jussie Smollett as we should. His story is not part of a larger epidemic. It’s the one-off curiosity of a selfish, lying fame seeker.

Hasson’s story however, is bigger than one white man larded up with weapons and self-righteous anger. His arrest marks the fifth domestic terrorist plot interrupted during the Trump administration. Two years, five Caucasian male ISIS and Nazi sympathizers empowered by the Racist-in-Chief. That should be the headline.”

Read the full post at Contemptor.

Both Siderist New York Times: Giving GOP Credit That Obama Deserves

“While it’s gratifying to see the authors call-out the ‘nativist fear’ mongering of Trump’s campaign swing in support of Republican candidates across the country, it’s hard not to flinch at the part about ‘the glowing report on the nation’s economy.’ As if that is any credit to the current POTUS or his policies. It’s particularly troubling to read this during the same week that President Obama, who in hard fact pulled the American economy out of a deep ditch in 2008 and placed it on a sustainable path Trump has not had enough time to fully destroy, is out there laboring.

44 is leveraging his earned leadership capital and personal charisma to articulate remarkable, abundant policy and humanitarian differences which divide 2018’s Democratic and Republican candidates. The Trump administration and his conservative sycophants have done all they can to erase the forward cultural and economic movement, the calls to basic decency, championed by President Obama. It’s galling when supposedly credible media sources assist that effort.

Deeper into their Times article, Herdon and Ember demonstrate an awareness that Republican ownership claims to a relatively stable economy are on a shaky foundation.”

Read the full post at Contemptor.

Beyond the Helpers

There’s a popular Facebook meme circulating that quotes the late, esteemed Fred Rogers advising us to “look for the helpers” during times of tragedy.

This well-meaning trend re-emerges just when Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has admitted to a lack of transparency for the social network’s advertising policies and display algorithms. Specifically, the ads allowed foreign (Russian) companies to funnel hundreds of thousands dollars into circulating divisive, often false information. These ads were paid for in Russian rubles, from an unclear source that Facebook has not been required to disclose…yet.

In addition to the negative political sway Facebook has exhibited through ad sales, there has been a barrage of content relative to kneeling NFL players and interpretations of Trump’s (in)actions in Puerto Rico. This is the backdrop against which the “look for the helpers” philosophy has re-emerged. 

With these events, the construct of “helpers” is considered in different ways.  With the NFL protests, we need help clearing the misinterpretations of protests against police brutality, as well as an understanding of First Amendment rights. In Puerto Rico, significant humanitarian efforts from celebrities and everyday people have taken the place of significant government action. Helpers seem to be in short supply with too many challenges across the nation and the globe to attend to at once.  The aid needed is varied as well: hearts and minds (NFL) versus a physical requirement to rescue and rebuild infrastructure (Puerto Rico). 

The renaissance of the Mr. Rogers meme, however, is overwhelming applied to the  mass-shooting that took place in Las Vegas weekend. While there are ways to help our fellow Americans  through every crisis (and there is abundant evidence of Good Samaritanism in Vegas), now more than ever, we need action from our duly elected government representatives.

I’m looking for the helpers to address our many challenges on Capitol Hill, and across the board, I’m finding them lacking. The obvious leader in failure is Mr. Trump, who benefited from the Russian attack ads, greatly exacerbated the NFL protest’s momentum, made a mockery of assistance in Puerto Rico (he wanted to throw cans of chicken a.k.a. metal projectiles into a crowd of people without water or power) and has already deflated efforts for gun control reform, because white male “lone-wolves” are his people. The President of the United States, rather than being our central helper is instead the Instigator in Chief.

Sure, there’s a select few representatives pushing for changes in gun laws, but the political gridlock turns it all into lip service. An insufficient proposed regulation of gun stocks rather than gun sales. Over 500 injured and 58 dead demands more than compassion and partisan time wasting. It demands positive action across the aisle that will actually save lives.

I offer up a new meme: Guns don’t kill people. Cynicism does.

Eye of the Storm

The past few weeks have been a madhouse of large-scale emergencies all over the country.

A brief update from my last post: our world leaders and police still need supervision. But Officer Jeff Payne was fired from his part-time paramedic gig following retaliatory remarks made against Nurse Wubbels. He attempted to arrest her in July for failing to illegally providing a patient blood sample.

Moving on…Hurricane Harvey was the first major event of its kind to devastate the United states since Wilma in 2005. We had just a few days to grapple with that disaster before Hurricane Irma came along –  fatter and faster than Harvey, and currently wreaking havoc on the state of Florida. Both storms are historic and have left communities grappling with prevention and recovery. Scientists say we are in the middle of an active hurricane period which began roughly in 1995, when water temperatures began to rise due to global warming.

Click the hyperlink for an independently compiled list of charities working to provide relief to victims of Hurricane Harvey. Similar links for Hurricane Irma will follow in a later post.

A little bit of good news from last week: The House passed Trump’s deal with Dem brass (“Nancy and Chuck”) to allocate $7.4 billion to FEMA. A follow-up vote from the Senate increased the aid package to $15 billion, with four Texans voting against the plan (note: these politicians are from parts of the state currently unaffected by Hurricane Harvey). The maneuvers also allowed an increase in the debt ceiling, and avoided a government shutdown – until December anyway.

With many Republicans opposed to the debt ceiling extension, we have to wonder why Trump chose this path. Was it an attempt to seek favor in light of fervent public opposition to the repeal of DACA?  A big “eff you” to GOP leaders with whom the President is already at odds? Or is Trump actually concerned for the Americans who’ve been devastated by natural disaster? We have our doubts about the latter.

It’s worth noting that immigration debates sank candidate John McCain, and also created intra-party headaches for former President George W. Bush.  Is Trump enjoying tangling with a GOP that is splintering under leadership dissent? A man who boldly demanded a wall to keep immigrants out of the country is now throwing DACA over to Congress. What gives?

More updates on hurricanes, FEMA, and DACA in my next post.

Accountability: Who’s in Charge?

It’s been a rough time for Texas as the state starts to recover from Hurricane Harvey. But while we’ve been (rightly) focused there, the rest of the world continues to turn – in ways comforting and threatening.

Recent news has been dominated by by a lack of accountability, locally and internationally.

I’m looking at you, North Korea, with your hydrogen bomb. Tests being conducted register on the Richter scale (at magnitudes of 6.3 and 4.1), and are also missile-compatible and mass-production ready. The United States responded with a flyover that an obviously irked Vladimir Putin described as a “rash act,” while his officials deal with a U.S. investigation of one of its three diplomatic locations.

These events put three hot-heads – Kim Jong-un, President Trump and Putin – with nuclear capabilities further at odds. And there are plenty of lingering, unresolved issues that continue to chafe; specifically the hacking of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election by Russia.

Looking closer and more inward, the lack of accountability trend continues with the recent treatment of nurse Alex Wubbels by Officer Jeff Payne, and a video of another cop, Greg Abbott “reassuring” a motorist that cops “only kill black people.” Two more members of law enforcement who clearly forgot that a mission to “To protect and serve” applies to EVERYONE. 

What are the repercussions for these officers? The lack of action by both departments is not encouraging. Payne is on full administrative leave, which means that pay AND benefits are still intact, despite clear documentation of unwarranted hostility. Similarly, Abbott found a loophole that allows him to retire. Retirement means benefits remain, circumventing the firing process.

Contrary to Trump’s (need I say uneducated and misguided?) opinion, police brutality of physical, cultural and social forms is unacceptable. Under normal circumstances, that message would come from the top. Instead we get a pardon of trash human Joe Arpaio, under the cover of Hurricane Harvey news coverage.

The lack of accountability and acceptable response to developments that threaten our civilization is dire. There’s advanced politics behind world powers going unchecked, but also it seems, behind community dysfunction.  The spotlight has been on brutal and unethical police actions for years, but where is the transparency? Where is the justice?

We need answers from someone besides Jeff Sessions and Donald Trump, who clearly favor a more lawless form of law and order – especially for people of color.

Next week, I’ll briefly follow up on these stories, and touch on Trump’s ending of DACA. I’ll also look at the recuperation progress in Texas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey and the incoming Hurricane Irma.